Former UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson has claimed that Scotland’s emerging offshore wind industry is now “pretty much dead” following a court ruling.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) won a legal challenge against the Inch Cape, Neart na Gaoithe and Seagreen Alpha and Bravo projects in the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay.

Judge Lord Stewart ruled that the Scottish Government had granted “defective” planning permission in October 2014 because it didn’t consider the impact that the wind farms would have on birds.

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse branded Wilson’s comments as “irresponsible, incorrect and ill-informed”.

Commons committee criticises government

The row came as the House of Commons’ Scottish Affairs Committee issued a report warning that changes to UK Government subsidies had dented investor confidence and had exacerbated long-term concerns over transmission costs, especially to the Scottish islands.

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at trade body Scottish Renewables, said: “What the report illustrates is the lack of – and pressing need for – a long-term plan not just for how we develop renewables and meet our climate change targets, but for our energy sector as a whole.”

Fabrice Leveque, Climate & Energy Policy Officer at environmental charity WWF Scotland, added: “Despite the uncertainty created by Westminster decisions, the Scottish Government can continue to drive progress by setting a new goal to generate 50% of all our energy needs, across electricity, heat and transport, from renewables by 2030.”

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